Steelers poised to name Keith Butler new defensive coordinator
January 12, 2015 10:01 PM
Peter Diana / Post-Gazette
Keith Butler, 58, has been the team’s linebackers coach since 2003 and has long been considered the heir apparent to LeBeau.
By Gerry Dulac / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Steelers are close to naming linebackers coach Keith Butler to replace Dick LeBeau as defensive coordinator, a move that could be announced Tuesday.
Butler met Monday with Coach Mike Tomlin at the team’s South Side facility and is in the process of finalizing a three-year contract that would move him into the role handled by LeBeau for the past 11 seasons.
Butler, 58, has been the team’s linebackers coach since 2003 and has long been considered the heir apparent to LeBeau.
LeBeau, 77, was told Saturday he would not be given a new contract and he and the Steelers agreed to say he was resigning. LeBeau, who always worked on a one-year deal, had intended to return for the 2015 season, which would have been his 57th in the NFL as a player and coach.
He made a point to say he was “resigning, not retiring,” when interviewed by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
LeBeau has already talked with Bruce Arians about possibly joining the Arizona Cardinals, who could lose their defensive coordinator, Todd Bowles, to a head coaching job.
Among the reasons the Steelers decided not to bring back LeBeau is that Butler’s three-year contract had expired and was free to negotiate with another team.
Also, Tomlin is expected to have more input with the defense next season and it’s possible he wanted to have a fresh approach with a new coordinator.
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